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2010's Hottest Toys: 14 Picks from $15 to $30
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When kids tug around Chicco's new pull-along toy, the Sing Along Airplane, they'll be developing hand-eye coordination and motor skills. Plus, they'll be tickled to hear themed music from Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa as the plane journeys through the playroom.
These chunky buttons snap into the bright story cards and store away in a tray, making Button Art a good take-with-you toy that will help your child's motor skills and creative thinking.
alextoys.com, $19.99, 2+
The Stack-a-Cake is colorful, fun, and totally tasty-looking. The three-layered cake crinkles, rattles, and rings. Stack it up, sing the Happy Birthday song, and repeat.
alextoys.com, $22, 10+ mos
Girls will be thrilled to create fun jewelry in a snap. They just press shiny sheets of foil into the Foil Bead Maker to create dazzling necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings. It's simple, mess-free, and will entertain for hours.
alextoys.com, $21.99, ages 7+
ImagiPLAY toys have been making eco-friendly toys for awhile, and the new line is full of simple but beautiful pieces. Little hands will have fun lacing the play pieces into this LacingScapes Pond story board, and you'll love to see what kind of nutty scenarios your child will think up.
imagiplay.com, $19.99, available now
Flipper Frenzy is a fun, portable game that will keep preschoolers on their feet. The easy-to-grasp shark calls out characteristics of the sea turtle, fish, seahorse and octopus (like "Who is green?" Who has eight legs?"), and kids race to pick up the correct sea life friend with the shark's mouth. Using Radio Frequency Identification, the shark identifies whether the match is right or wrong, making this both a learning and get-up-and-go game.
wildplanet.com, $19.99, Ages 3-5, Available Fall 2010)
This year LEGO is busting out into the gaming world, with board games that can be built, played and changed (and are actually fun for parents too.) In Ramses Pyramid, players use memory, skill and smarts to unlock the crystal-coded layers to reach the top of the pyramid and defeat the Mummy King.
lego.com, $29.99, Available in August
Sweetest. Shape Sorter. Ever. This gingerbread house has six holes that fit six chunky candy shapes (like chocolates, gingerbread men and mints). All fit through the front door.
learningresources.com, $18.99, ages 2+
If baby loves to help mom in the kitchen, let him bring along his own pasta pot. I Can Cook is a shiny fill and spill toy, full of colorful, velvety pasta. Inside are squeaking, ratting, and jingling veggies.
alextoys.com, $22.00, 10 mos+
We always knew Sprig Toys rocked, so we were psyched to see the Captain Owen's Dolphin Explore Boat grab the Specialty Toy of The Year Award. This year the Soarin' Sea Plane will be flying off the shelves, and like the rest of Sprig Toys, the dad designers used recycled wood and reclaimed plastic (no batteries) to make them. A Parenting.com favorite!
sprigtoys.com, $20, available summer 2010
Thomas the Tank Engine has been chugging the tracks for more than sixty years, but this year he's taken a revolutionary step. His pieces (finally) come in a set that is a bit bigger and chunkier for little toddler hands. The best part? The cars fit on the larger, big-kid train tracks, so you can continue to grow your Thomas the Tank Engine collection.
The Miss Butterfly Bliss Interactive Cottage is home to six playful rooms that light up and play songs, and the entire thing folds up neatly so it's perfect for on-the-go.
Since the frozen yogurt trend is so hot right now, and food toys seem to never go out of style, the Girl Gourmet Chill Treats Dessert Maker is destined to be a big hit. Kids mix the Chill Treats powder with cold water, mix it up in the chamber, and add gels and colors and toppings until they get their own DIY fro-yo.
It's fun to crawl after Chicco's motion-activated musical Spring Roller. Lights and sounds that hold baby's attention even when it¿s stationary.